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  • In The New York Times, Michael Kimmelman reports on the Crossrail mass transit line in London. It sounds promising, even in the era of Brexit.

  • Emily Nonko at Curbed argues that the underfunding of mass transit in NYC by Robert Moses is the cause of the current crisis.

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    Torontoist's feature on how Stepgate went viral internationally is a mustread.
  • The National Post covers a disturbing report about claiming a police officer maimed a teenager. If the Toronto police have been actively trying to cover up criminal assault by one of their members ...

  • Global News notes that Metrolinx has opted to remove Bombardier for consideration in operating GO Transit.

  • A high-speed ferry link between Toronto and Niagara--St. Catherine's--is imaginable. Economically viable? The Globe and Mail reports.

  • Simon Lewsen describes in The Globe and Mail how the 1977 murder of Emanuel Jaques led, eventually, to the transformation of Yonge Street.

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  • This story of a TTC worker who took a day's fares home with him, where they got confiscated by police, and then compensated by union pressure for having been suspended without pay ... wow.

  • Edward Keenan makes the point that cost overruns for city infrastructure need to be taken seriously. The quoted price for a park staircase is just off.

  • Daily Xtra notes the sad state of repairs of the rainbow crosswalks of Toronto.

  • CBC reports on Twyn Rivers Drive, a Scarborough route some say should be marked as off-limits for heavy vehicles.

  • NOW Toronto reports on how Mississauga is starting to outshine Toronto in the department of bike lanes.

  • Torontoist's Tricia Wood writes about the almost impressive dysfunction at Metrolinx.

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  • James Bow talks about how Ontario aiming for experimental hydrogen-powered trains, not electric ones, is a mistake.

  • Marginal Revolution reports on the community that WalMart took to a West Virginia county it is now leaving.

  • Diane Duane shows an old novel proposal from 1999 that she found again, and is now dusting off.

  • Transit Toronto notes that the time-based transfer program on the St. Clair route is ending, after 12 years.

  • Unicorn Booty reports on the lavender scare of the 1950s in the United States.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes the strong use of repetition, as a literary device, in the Hebrew version particularly of Genesis.

  • Window on Eurasia wonders how the Russian-American relationship, one Russia has depended on in the past, will evolve.

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  • Steve Munro notes the appallingly bad official presentation of ridership data on the Union-Pearson Express.

  • Edward Keenan notes that, though external funding news is good, Toronto needs to somehow find four billion dollars on its own. Where?

  • Ben Spurr notes that the new King Street plan prioritizing transit will make exceptions for taxis at some times.

  • Martin Regg Cohn notes that Metrolinx desperately needs to be insulated from political interference.

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  • Torontoist's Emily Macrae notes the importance that parks will have for a Toronto with an aging population.

  • The Toronto Star's Ben Spurr reports that Siemens is challenging Metrolinx's award of the contract for new streetcars to Alstom.

  • Global News shares arguments from business owners that the floodwaters around the Toronto Islands has fallen enough to reopen them.

  • CBC News' Justin Li reports that Ward's Island, easternmost of the Toronto Islands, actually is open for business.

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  • Torontoist notes that, between climate change and development, Toronto faces serious flood risks in the future.

  • Ben Spurr notes in the Toronto Star that, come September, Metrolinx will oversee 3% fare increases on GO Transit and the UP Express.

  • I am unsurprised to learn, again from the Toronto Star's Ben Spurr, that the TTC has won an award recognizing it as the best public transit agency in North America.

  • Fatima Syed notes that Brampton, with its newly hired urban planner, is in search of a new identity.

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  • The Globe and Mail's Joanna Slater talks about how the subway system of New York City is staggering from catastrophe to catastrophe.

  • The Globe and Mail's Stephen Quinn argues it is much too late to save Vancouver's Chinatown from radical redevelopment.

  • The Toronto Star's Tess Kalinowski writes about how young buyers are driving a push for laneway housing in Toronto.
  • Bryan Tucker, also in the Toronto Star, also makes the case for laneway housing.

  • The National Post shares a story about an affordable 18th century house on the Québec-Vermont border.

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  • Steve Munro reports on the many problems associated with implementing new express buses, in Toronto and elsewhere.

  • Global News was one of many sources reporting on the high rate of failure of the new Bombardier streetcars.

  • Ben Spurr notes the astounding failure of the City of Toronto to do basic things at Union Station, like collect rent.

  • Transit Toronto notes that GO Transit's seasonal routes to Niagara have started today and will go until 4 September.

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  • Lisa Coxon of Toronto Life shares eleven photos tracking Toronto's queer history back more than a century.

  • Michelle McQuigge reports for the Toronto Star that the Luminous Veil does save lives. I would add that it is also beautiful.

  • In The Globe and Mail, Marcus Gee thinks it makes perfect sense for there to be a dedicated streetcar corridor on King Street.

  • Ben Spurr describes a new plan for a new GO Transit bus station across from Union Station.

  • Emily Mathieu reported in the Toronto Star on how some Kensington Market tenants seem to have been pushed out for an Airbnb hostel.

  • In The Globe and Mail, Irish-born John Doyle explores the new Robert Grassett Park, built in honour of the doctor who died trying to save Irish refugees in 1847.

  • Justin Ling in VICE tells the story of three gay men who went missing without a trace in Toronto just a few years ago. What happened?
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  • Caroline Alphonso reports in The Globe and Mail about how Toronto Islands students have been displaced to school on the mainland, in Regent Park.
  • Robert Benzie and Victoria Gibson describe in the Toronto Star a new waterfront park in a revitalized part of Ontario Place.
  • Torontoist's Keiran Delamont notes how Metrolinx's sharing of data with the police fits into the broader concept of the modern surveillance state.
  • Steve Munro tracks the evolution, or perhaps more properly devolution, of streetcar service from 1980 to 2016.

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  • Centauri Dreams looks at the complex prebiotic chemistry in the system of young triple IRAS 16293-2422.

  • Language Hat looks at the central role played by Kyrgzystan writer Chinghiz Aitmatov in shaping Kyrgyz identity.

  • The Map Room Blog shares Baltimore's new transit map.

  • Steve Munro examines the Ford family's various issues with TTC streetcars.

  • The Russian Demographics Blog reports on the latest UN Report on the Donbas and the conflict there.

  • Window on Eurasia notes that the number of ethnic Russians in the former Soviet Union fallen sharply through demographic change including assimilation.

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  • blogTO reported that York University plans on opening a satellite campus in York Region's Markham. This is a first.

  • Dangerous Minds notes a new, posthumous release from Suidide's Alan Vega.

  • The Dragon's Gaze links to a paper considering the detectability of Niven ringworlds around pulsars. (Maybe.)

  • The Everyday Sociology Blog considers burnout among sociology students, and suggests that engagement with issues is key to overcoming it.

  • The Great Grey Bridge's Philip Turner photoblogs his recent Rhode Island vacation.

  • Joe. My. God. reports on the arrest of a Christian activist protesting outside of the Pulse memorial in Orlando.

  • The LRB Blog shares considerable concern that the Democratic Unionists of Northern Ireland are now national powermakers.

  • Spacing Toronto shares the ambitious plan of Buenos Aires to make the city better for cyclists, pedestrians, and mass transit
  • Transit Toronto notes that starting Friday, Metrolinx will co-sponsor $C25 return tickets to Niagara from Toronto.

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  • The Globe and Mail describes how the flooding of Lake Ontario is starting to impact buildings built near the waterfront on the mainland, like some of Toronto's new condos.

  • All of Toronto's beaches will be, CBC reports, at least partly closed on account of the flooding.

  • Lucas Powers' photo essay at CBC tracks the impact of flooding on the Toronto Islands.

  • Steve Munro continues his study of buses on Queen Street, noting that the frequency of buses needs to be increased to keep pace with streetcars.

  • Edward Keenan argues in the Toronto Star that Michael Ford's call for a study for Queen Street transit will reveal that streetcars are the better way.

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  • Steve Munro calls for an honest public review of what Toronto actually does need insofar as mass transit is concerned.

  • Torontoist is justly critical of a one-stop Scarborough subway extension that will help make mass transit there worse.

  • Spacing's John Lorinc is critical of plans for mass transit expansion that do not respond to existing issues.

  • The Toronto Star notes that Union-Pearson Express ridership is up but also notes that it remains heavily subsidized.
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    The Toronto Star's Ben Spurr looks at how the new streetcars the TTC is contracting to buy with Alstom with compared with Bombardier's oft-promised ones, and the consequences.

    After a protracted dispute with Bombardier about delays to its light rail vehicle order for the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, Metrolinx has taken the drastic step of placing an order for cars with another company.

    Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca announced Friday that Metrolinx, which is the provincial agency in charge of transit planning for the GTHA, has inked a deal to buy 61 vehicles from the French firm Alstom at a cost of $528 million.

    The transit agency hasn’t cancelled its $770-million purchase from Bombardier, which as a result of a lawsuit brought by the manufacturer is now tied up in a dispute resolution process. But Del Duca said allowing both purchases to go ahead simultaneously would provide Metrolinx with a backup fleet that guarantees it will have enough vehicles to open the Crosstown line by 2021.

    Del Duca called it “a creative and prudent approach to dealing with a less than ideal situation.”

    Bombardier maintains that Metrolinx had no need to seek another supplier, and says it will be able to supply all 182 cars the agency ordered in 2010, 76 of which would run on the Crosstown line.
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    • Anthropology.net reports on new evidence that Homo naledi may have used tools, buried their dead, and lived alongside Homo sapiens.
    • Centauri Dreams remembers an abortive solar sail mission to Halley's Comet.

    • Dangerous Minds shares photos of the "Apache" dancers of France.

    • Cody Delistraty writes about Swedish futurist Anders Sandberg and his efforts to plan for humanity's future.

    • At the Everyday Sociology Blog, Karen Sternheimer talks about her day as a sociologist.

    • Joe. My. God. notes the good news that normal young HIV patients can now expect near-normal life expectancies.

    • Language Hat looks at a recent surge of interest in Italian dialects.

    • Language Log looks at the phenomenon of East Asians taking English-language names.

    • The LRB Blog considers the dynamics of the United Kingdom's own UDI.

    • Marginal Revolution looks at the existential issues of a growing Kinshasa still disconnected from the wider world.

    • Steve Munro notes that Metrolinx will now buy vehicles from France's Alstom.

    • The New APPS Blog uses Foucault to look at the "thanatopolitics" of the Republicans.

    • The NYRB Daily looks at Trump's constitutional crisis.

    • Out There considers the issues surrounding the detection of an alien civilization less advanced than ours.

    • The Planetary Society Blog looks at the United States' planetary science exploration budget.

    • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer looks at Argentina's underrated reputation as a destination for foreign investment.

    • Progressive Download shares some thinking about sexual orientation in the context of evolution.

    • Peter Rukavina looks at the success of wind energy generation on the Island.

    • Understanding Society takes a look at the dynamics of Rome.

    • Window on Eurasia shares a lunatic Russian scheme for a partition of eastern Europe between Russia and Germany.

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    The Toronto Star's Ben Spurr reports on the latest in the back-and-forth between Metrolinx and Bombardier.

    The TTC says it remains confident that Bombardier will stick to its latest streetcar delivery schedule, despite allegations this week of ongoing dysfunction at the Quebec-based rail manufacturer’s plants.

    Court documents filed Thursday by Metrolinx, the provincially owned transit agency, accuse Bombardier of a “persistent inability to deliver on its contractual obligations” under a 2010 deal for 182 light rail vehicles (LRVs) and claim that as recently as last month there were “chronic and ongoing” problems with the company’s manufacturing processes.

    The $770-million order from Metrolinx is separate from the TTC’s 2009 purchase from Bombardier of 204 low-floor streetcars, which has also been plagued by delays. But the vehicles from the two orders are similar and Bombardier is assembling the TTC cars at the same plants that have worked on the Metrolinx project.

    Metrolinx filed the affidavits in response to Bombardier’s attempt to secure an injunction to prevent the agency from cancelling the contract. The documents have not been tested in court.

    Bombardier denies it has bungled the Metrolinx order and in a statement released Thursday said: “we categorically disagree” with Metrolinx’s allegations. The company stated it was “fully able to deliver” the vehicles, which Metrolinx purchased to run on the Eglinton Crosstown and the Finch LRT.
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    The Toronto Star's Tess Kalinowski reports on a study that suggests, plausibly enough, that increases in GO Transit rail service to outlying communities in the Greater Toronto Area will boost real estate prices there.

    The plan to expand the GO train system to 15-minute, all-day two way service could increase some Toronto area property values up to 12 per cent.

    It could also make housing up to 18 per cent more affordable in some areas of the region, according to a study of 773 communities commissioned by the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB).

    But maximizing those benefits depends on local municipalities making it attractive for commuters to get to the station, said the president of a data analytics company that studied the impact of GO’s Regional Express Rail (RER) expansion on Toronto region housing prices and affordability.

    “While the GO station may be close to people it may not be accessible to them,” said Paul Smetanin, president of the Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis (CANCEA).

    Areas that stand to gain the most in terms of affordability from RER are those outside the city, places such as Barrie, Guelph, Hamilton and King.
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    The Globe and Mail's Oliver Moore reports on Metrolinx's announcement that it is searching for a new transit car maker to replace Bombardier.

    Metrolinx has opened talks with another transit builder as it pushes for a quick resolution to its legal showdown with Bombardier Inc. over a $770-million light-rail vehicle order for Toronto.

    The regional transit agency alleges in a 2,000-page court filing that Bombardier’s delays are putting the $5.4-billion Eglinton Crosstown LRT project at risk. And it argues that the Montreal-based company is trying to drag out the legal process so that Metrolinx won’t have enough time to go to another supplier, even if it wins in court.

    At issue are the 182 transit vehicles destined primarily for the Crosstown – which is under construction and scheduled to open in 2021 – and an LRT project planned for Finch Avenue West.

    Metrolinx will be on the hook for major fines if the vehicles don’t arrive in time to open the Crosstown as scheduled. The agency, an arm of the provincial government, is also keenly aware that its political masters could change next year and is under pressure to show it can deliver big projects.

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